Grains

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has significant direct investment in grains research, development and extension capability and activities, research infrastructure and policy development.

The Western Australian grains industry is a major contributor to the agrifood sector and the Australian economy. WA produces on average 13 million tonnes of grains (cereals, oilseeds and pulses) each year. Grain exports generate more than $4 billion (five year average) for the WA economy each year – making it the largest agricultural sector in the state, and the fourth largest export industry overall after iron ore, oil and gas, and gold.

WA exports about 80% of its annual grain production to more than 50 countries worldwide. Indonesia is WA’s top wheat export market worth over $0.5 billion per year. WA is the world’s leading supplier of premium malting barley to China, the major supplier of wheat for the Japanese udon noodle market, and a major feed barley supplier to the Middle East.

In the 2014/15 season it is estimated the WA grains industry exported a total of $3.7 billion of cereals and $790 billion of pulse, pasture and oilseeds. The major contributors to these exports were wheat ($2.7 billion), barley ($905 million), canola ($710 million), oats ($83 million) and lupins ($77 million).

Articles

  • Brome grass (Bromus diandrus and B. rigidus) is one of the most competitive grass weeds in wheat.

  • Summer crops can be grown for various reasons including replacing a ‘missed’ cereal crop, control herbicide resistant weeds, filling a summer feed gap for livestock or for watertable control.

  • Drains in most waterlogging-susceptible cropped areas pay for themselves within a few years.

  • Herbicide resistance is the inherited ability of an individual plant to survive a herbicide application that would kill a normal population of the same species.

  • The most accurate way to estimate the weed population of a paddock is to count the number of plants in an area of known size at a number of locations.

  • Claying involves adding and incorporating clay-rich subsoil into water repellent topsoil to overcome the repellence.

  • Powdery mildew is a fungal leaf disease that reduces yield and grain quality in susceptible wheat varieties.

  • Herbicide performance can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. These can include compatibility of herbicides, water quality, sprayer decontamination and controlling stressed weeds.

  • Herbicides can be applied by a variety of means including boom sprayers, aerial spraying, misters, blanket wipers, rope wick applicators, weed seekers and back-pack sprayers.

  • In an integrated weed management program, control of weeds should occur in the fallow, pre-sowing, early post-emergent and in pasture phases.

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